BALTIMORE -- Tampa Bay has traded left-hander Jonny Venters to the Braves in exchange for an international signing slot, the club announced Thursday.A source told MLB.com's Mark Feinsand that the Rays will receive $250,000 in international bonus pool money in the deal.
BALTIMORE -- Tampa Bay has traded left-hander Jonny Venters to the Braves in exchange for an international signing slot, the club announced Thursday.
A source told MLB.com's Mark Feinsand that the Rays will receive $250,000 in international bonus pool money in the deal.
Venters, 33, went 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA in 22 appearances (one start) this season with the Rays. In his 21 relief appearances, he pitched to a 0.66 ERA.
The Rays selected the contract of Venters on April 25, and he made his debut with the club that night, his first appearance in the Majors in 2,028 days. His last outing was in the National League Wild Card Game on Oct. 5, 2012, when he pitched for the Braves.
Venters underwent Tommy John surgery in 2005, '13 and '14. He originally signed with the Rays as a Minor League free agent on March 11, 2015, and returned from his third Tommy John surgery to make five appearances for Class A Advanced Charlotte in 2016 before the ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow was torn for a fourth time. He underwent an additional "half-Tommy John," performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache, to reattach the ligament and made 24 appearances in the Minor Leagues in 2017.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Venters was the first former All-Star to return to the Majors after missing at least five years since Justin Thompson, who was an All-Star in 1997 and pitched for the Rangers on Aug. 18, 2005, in his first game since Aug. 15, 1999.
On May 15, against the Kansas City Royals, Venters recorded his first win since Aug. 17, 2012, going 2,096 days in between.
Then on May 28, against the Oakland Athletics, he recorded his first save since Aug. 22, 2011 -- a span of 2,470 days.
With his start on June 6 vs. the Nationals, Venters became the only pitcher in Major League history to start a game after three Tommy John surgeries.
Venters was selected by the Braves in the 30th round of the 2003 June Draft out of Indian River Community College in Fort Pierce, Fla. He spent parts of three seasons (2010-12) with the Braves, pitching to a 2.23 ERA over 229 2/3 innings in that span.
Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.